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Appalachian Students Spearhead Environmentally Friendly Uses

BOONE–Appalachian State University is the first member of the UNC System to adopt a policy encouraging its departments to use 100 percent post-consumer copy paper.

Appalachian also has adopted a policy encouraging two-sided copying when feasible and practical.

The efforts will help Appalachian become a model to businesses, industries and local governments for incorporating environmentally sustainable practices into daily operations.

“Last year Appalachian used 29 million sheets of copier paper,” said Appalachian’s Recycling Coordinator Jim Rice. “If we can do double-sided printing then we conceivably cut that in half and by using only 100 percent post-consumer paper we are helping the environment.”

Student Lee Echols spearheaded the effort to get the 100 percent post-consumer paper onto state contract and into the university warehouse. He is a member of SAVE, Students Actively Volunteering for the Environment.

Echols took samples of the paper to departments across campus for test runs. The new paper works as well or better in copier machines than the normal 30 percent post-consumer paper used on campus, according to Rice.

“It is wonderful to see the interest of students translated into action by the administration,” Rice said.

This is the second time Appalachian’s administration responded to requests by students for more environmentally friendly practices. Last fall, Appalachian began composting cafeteria scraps, which helps cut down on waste sent to the landfill and creates nutrient-enriched compost for campus.

Rice said the university’s policies will create a greater market for recycled papers which will help bring more competition to the marketplace and lower prices.

Appalachian recycles 308.4 tons of paper, aluminum cans, glass, cardboard, books and magazines each year.

The University began its recycling program in 1989.